The Gate ten years 10 candles lit
Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Thank You For Ten Years of The Gate

T wo years ago today, The Gate moved from FlyerTalk to BoardingArea for the second time — but as of this month, The Gate celebrates ten years of existence.

When The Gate first started in 2006, most of the weblogs which exist today were not even a thought. Frequent flier loyalty programs were still based on distance and not on revenue. FlyerTalk was still owned and operated by its founder, Randy Petersen. Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines were in the middle of bankruptcy reorganization; and Continental Airlines, AirTran Airways and US Airways still existed. There was no such thing yet as an Apple iPhone, as Blackberry still ruled the world in terms of portable electronic devices.

Where did those ten years go?!?

Some History Pertaining to The Gate

I suppose the official first article of The Gate is Liquids and Gels: What Is Allowed to Carry On Board and What Is Not Allowed? — which was posted on Friday, August 18, 2006 — but it is not the first article ever posted to The Gate.

Earlier in the summer of 2006, Randy Petersen — who is the founder of BoardingArea — had this idea of launching a weblog and announced a call for writers on FlyerTalk. Including me, 22 FlyerTalk members answered the call and posted articles to The Gate without attribution, as it was not yet “live” for a period of time.

I was honored to eventually be chosen as one of the two original writers for The Gate. After the test period, The Gate became live in August of 2006 on FlyerTalk, as there was no BoardingArea as of yet.

The Gate was one of the original weblogs at BoardingArea when it was launched in 2008. More specifically, the first time an article of The Gate was posted at BoardingArea was on Thursday, December 27, 2007 with this short article. It eventually became one of the top four weblogs at BoardingArea, according to Randy Petersen — but when The Gate was at BoardingArea the first time, all of the anonymous articles written by all 22 writers during the test period were visible and available for all to see.

After some discussions between Randy Petersen and Internet Brands — the company which purchased FlyerTalk in 2007 — The Gate officially moved back to its original home on FlyerTalk on Wednesday, May 4, 2011; but without the articles written by the 22 writers.

The Gate still quietly resided at BoardingArea for a period of time after the move back to FlyerTalk before it was eventually removed. Even though it was hidden from view, all of the articles up until Tuesday, May 3, 2011 — which included the original articles from the 22 writers — still remained accessible. Once The Gate was removed from BoardingArea, those articles written prior to Friday, August 18, 2006 disappeared forever — unless they happen to be residing on a server somewhere.

More details and information pertaining to the history of The Gate is found in this article.

Thank You For Ten Years of The Gate

I have to say that I have learned a lot over those years during which I have been writing literally thousands of articles for The Gate — especially from the feedback which you have taken the time and effort to give me. Sometimes the feedback was insightful and constructive — and sometimes…not so much.

Despite that feedback sometimes being rather tough to swallow, I read every comment and appreciate it. As I have said multiple times in the past, constructive criticism — which I absolutely invite from you pertaining to The Gate, by the way — is essential in helping the subject of that criticism to improve. If a person is willing to take the time to post positive or negative reviews instead of using that time on something else, then it should be appreciated. Constructive feedback is a gift.

Writing for The Gate has been a wonderful ride — albeit peppered with curves and unexpected twists along the way — and I want to continue to do so in the future.

Travel Is My Passion

While I do not mind reporting about news, offers, promotions, sweepstakes and contests pertaining to frequent travel loyalty program miles and points — I still vehemently maintain that it is not a “hobby” — the truth of the matter is…

…much of the time, they bore me.

There. I said it. I write at BoardingArea; and yet I said it. Sacrilegious blasphemy, I tells ya.

Rather, I enjoy the simple wonders of travel, as travel is my passion — long before there was a FlyerTalk or a BoardingArea — and miles and points have merely been a vehicle for me to indulge in that passion of travel. Even more than writing about — and posting photographs of — my travels is when I find out from you that what I write inspires you and other people to travel; and I enjoy hearing about or reading those stories as well…

…and I would never shun you away if you have a link to an article to your weblog which you would like to post in the Comments section of an article which I wrote — as long as it is pertinent to the topic. In fact, I encourage you to please post a link to your article. The whole idea is to share information which is mutually beneficial — right?!?

The Future — and What You Can Do

As you may already know, credit card and affiliate links have never appeared during the entire history of ten years at The Gate; and that is by design, as I do not like them. Articles are not sponsored by a company; and of the extremely rare times — think fewer than the fingers on one hand — in ten years where a company will pay for my expenses, I ensure that I am absolutely clear that that does not sway my opinions and that I will remain completely honest about what I write. I attempt to avoid “click-bait” headlines as much as possible — although I am not always successful. Although I could do it, I do not have a side business booking award travel — nor do I advertise for such.

I am asking a simple favor: I want to increase readership and interest in The Gate in order to allow me to travel even more and bring you articles of trip reports, reviews and experiences from around the world. Although subscribing to the free newsletter of The Gate is one way you can help, I would rather grow readership organically based on the quality of the content of the articles I write. What topics would you like to see me cover in future articles? About what topics should I avoid writing? Where would you like to see me travel next? Should I dabble in multimedia, such as audio and video reports in addition to written articles? What interests you the most that you rarely or never see at other weblogs? What keeps you coming back as a reader of The Gate?

I have updated the list of the top 50 articles in terms of readership over the past two years at The Gate as a point of reference.


I am hopeful that the first ten years of The Gate is only the beginning for bigger and better things to come…

…but in the meantime, thank you so much once again for your support. Mere words cannot ever convey my expression of gratitude, as I am grateful to you — more than you will ever know — for without you, there would be no The Gate

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

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